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The Names of Islands in the Old Norse Faereyinga Saga and Orkeyinga Saga

Picture of King Harald from the 14th century Icelandic manuscript Flateyjarbók.

The Names of Islands in the Old Norse Faereyinga Saga and Orkeyinga Saga Hilda Radzin (St. John’s University) Literary Onomastics Studies: Volume 5, Article 7 (1978) Abstract In the Old Norse language the word saga denoted any kind of story or history in prose, whether written or oral. Used in this sense, the word saga […]

The Patriarch Alexios Stoudites and the Reinterpretation of Justinianic Legislation against Heretics

Justinian and his attendants - 526-547 AD (Byzantine) San Vitale, Ravenna

Using normative legal sources such as law codes and imperial novels to illuminate Byzantine heresy is a very difficult proposition. One of the great problems in the analysis of Byzantine law in general is that the normative legal sources rarely were adapted to subsequent economic, political, or social conditions.

Of sagas and sheep: Toward a historical anthropology of social change and production for market, subsistence and tribute in early Iceland

Medieval hunt - images of sheep

This dissertation deals with the formation of chiefdoms, communities, ecclesiastical institutions and state, and with production for market, subsistence and tribute in early Iceland in the context of climatic change and ecological succession.

Who Would You Fight for in 1066?

Who Would You Fight for in 1066

It’s the year 1066. Edward, the King of England, has just died. Edward named his successor as Harold Godwinson, but Edward’s cousin, Duke William of Normandy, claims the king had promised him the crown. As William plans to invade England, there is another invasion brewing to claim the throne – led by Harald Hardrada, the King of Norway. It’s a time of turmoil, betrayal and bloodshed… who would you fight for?

Dynastic Intrigues and Domestic Realities during the Reigns of Andrew I and Bela I

King Béla I of Hungary

In the mid-1030s, the cousin of King Stephen I of Hungary, Prince Vazul (the son of Michael, the younger brother of Geza, Stephen’s father) conspired to assassinate the elderly and ailing king.

Different roles of Empire(s) in the Universal Chronicle of Frutolf of Michelsberg

Chronicles of the Investiture ContestChronicles of the Investiture Contest

Frutolf, a monk of the Benedictine monastery of Michelsberg in Bamberg, wrote five years before his death in 1103 a universal or world chronicle of about 300 folios.

Latin Patrons, Greek Fathers: St Bartholomew of Simeri and Byzantine Monastic Reform in Norman Italy, 11th-12th Centuries

A mosaic with Roger II receiving the crown from Christ, Martorana, Palermo. The mosaic carries an inscription 'Rogerios Rex' in Greek letters. (Wikipedia)

St Bartholomew of Simeri (ca. 1050-1130), a Greek monastic founder and reformer from Calabria, saw the effective end of Byzantine imperial power in southern Italy in 1071, the conquest of Muslim Palermo by Robert Guiscard the following year, and the rise of the Norman kingdom of Roger II at the end of his life.

The Bayeux Tapestry: The Case of the Phantom Fleet

Bayeaux Tapestry - ships

There is a large bibliography of secondary works concerning the Bayeux Tapestry, but when one reads much of the published material it is clear that a high proportion of this comment, as one would expect, copies and builds on previous authors.

Hungary’s Conversion to Christianity: The Establishment of Hungarian Statehood and its Consequences to the Thirteenth Century

Mummified right hand of Stephen I of Hungary - canonized in 1083 A.D.

The Carpathian Basin occupies a peculiar place in history. It was the ground where Roman-Germanic world met that of the Slavs and mounted nomad peoples, where no group had achieved sustained unity before the state of Hungary was founded.

Aelfgyva: The Mysterious Lady of the Bayeux Tapestry

Who was the mysterious Ælfgyva in the Bayeux Tapestry?

One of the most intriguing of these puzzles centers upon a scene in that initial segment of the Tapestry treating with Earl Harold Godwinson’s famed and controversial visit to the court of the Norman duke

The Knight, the Hermit, and the Pope: Some Problematic Narratives of Early Crusading Piety

Peter the Hermit - First Crusade

A much more general question, one that extends beyond the geographic confines of the Limousin and the period between 27 December 1095 and 15 August 1096 is why an individual choose to confront any of these difficulties at all. Why did they go?

Signs of Power. Manorial Demesnes in Medieval Iceland

King Eric II Magnusson of Noway & Iceland (1268 - 1299)

An important aspect of medieval Icelandic social organization, namely the manor, has been neglected in previous research, and very little research has been undertaken comparing Icelandic manorial organization with other regions. This article focuses on one aspect of manorial organization, namely the manorial demesne or central farm of the manor.

The Danish Conquest: 1000 Years

13th century depiction of Svein Forkbeard

1013-1014 sees the 1000th anniversary of a successful invasion of England – and not many people seem to have noticed.

Ten Things You May Not Have Noticed in the Bayeux Tapestry

Ten Things You May Not Have Noticed in the Bayeux Tapestry

The designer of the Bayeux Tapestry also included little details that might be missed by the casual viewer. Here are ten images to take a second look at!

Enemy and Ancestor: Viking Identities and Ethnic Boundaries in England and Normandy, c.950 – c.1015

The Bayeux Tapestry and the Vikings

This thesis is a comparison of ethnicity in Viking Age England and Normandy. It focuses on the period c.950-c.1015, which begins several generations after the initial Scandinavian settlements in both regions.

Herleva of Falaise, Mother of William the Conqueror

Normandy

Legends states the young Duke Robert I of Normandy was on the walkway of his castle at Falaise looking down at the river and discovered a beautiful young girl washing clothes. He asked to see her and she became his mistress. She would become the mother of William the Conqueror.

Britain and the Beginning of Scotland

King Cinaed mac Ailpín (Kenneth Mac Alpin - King of the Picts

Until recently it was generally held that Scotland first began to take shape with a union of Picts and Scots under Cinaed mac Ailpín, who died in 858.

Could Duke Phillip the Good of Burgundy have owned the Bayeux tapestry in 1430?

Miniature, illustration from page 1 of Les Chroniques de Hainaut. The Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, and his son Charles (later to be known as Charles the Bold), being paid homage by the author of the Chronicles of Hainault. Van der Weyden's only surviving miniature.

An entry in the Inventory of the Bayeux cathedral treasury records that in 1476 the church owned the following: Item une tente tres longue et estroicte de telle a broderie d’ymages et escripteaulx, faisans representation du Conquest d’Angleterre, laquelle est tendu environ la nefde l’église le jour et par l’octave des reliques (l). Not until the 1720 ‘s did scholars first find and appreciate the potential importance of this brief entry.

Saints, Tradition and Monastic Identity: The Ghent Relics, 850-1100

Ghent altarpiece

The extraordinary story ofthe Ghent relics was first told by Oswald Holder- Egger in an article published in 1886. During his work on part two of volume 15 of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica Scriptores series, which Holder- Egger had just finished, he had come across the hagiographie literature produced at the abbeys of St Baafs and St Pieters in Ghent.

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